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Old 06-21-2014, 05:51 PM   #1
dave6253 OP
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April Shows a New Buddy a Good Time - California & Oregon With KYMike & dave6253






Along for this ride are KYMike and his unnamed Suzuki 650 V-Strom...





...and me and April, my trusty 2002 Aprilia RST1000 Futura.




Day 1 - June 5th, 2014

I went to pick KYMike up from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
At 8:18 AM he texts me, "Heading to the North Curb. I'm the one with the big smile."


I take KYMike to get reacquainted with his bike. He gets busy transferring most of his luggage and making the bike ready.





We are both probably a little apprehensive about this trip. We barely know each other. I do think I know him enough
now to assure you that KY in his handle means he is from Kentucky and has nothing to do with personal lubricants.
Mike did his first tour out west last year and can be read about here: The “Well crap, the National Parks are closed” Tour
He contacted me for route advice and we struck up a long conversation that led him to my place at the end of his tour.
April has been getting to know the V-Strom ever since, but they have yet to get out on the roads together.

April knows tons of roads to show her new buddy and I have a few new ones to scout out as well.

But first, we must survive the desert heat.





How about a few teaser pics?






















































I've probably already shown my best, but stick around. Mike should have some good ones as well.
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:55 PM   #2
Ol Man
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Your photography is always amazing.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Man View Post
Your photography is always amazing.
Well said, this seems to be the beginning of a great ride report!

Cheers,

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Old 06-21-2014, 07:45 PM   #4
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My pictures won’t compare to Dave’s, but I’ve got several to choose from. I’ll throw one in every now and then.

Dave is correct, we really didn’t know each other. He was a tremendous resource in planning my trip out west last year. I had planned to ride the V-Strom home this Spring when Dave suggested I do a loop through California first. A seed was planted, and eventually dates were picked and plane tickets were bought. I think Dave was almost surprised when I actually showed up.

Dave is much more prepared for this RR, so he’s taking the lead. I will say Day 1 was a long one for me. I had gotten up at 4am to catch a flight to Phoenix. By the time I went to sleep that night, we had covered 508 miles, and I had been up for 22 hours.

Dave had some good quotes throughout the trip, so I’ll try to post the one’s I remember.
Dave’s Day 1 Quote: “KYMike..(pause)..KY…like the jelly?”
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:06 PM   #5
dave6253 OP
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Day 1 Desert Heat

Mike was ready much sooner than I expected, but I must have been hurrying him.
He told me later I asked repeatedly if he was about done. That's not real fair of me,
since it took a week for me to get ready and he had just stepped off the plane.






We are leaving town by 11 AM in the heat of the day. It wasn't to bad for June, but it was still about 103 degrees.





I warn him it will get much warmer as we drop down into the Colorado River Valley at Bullhead City/Laughlin.





Here we are going through the pass just before dropping down to the oven.





112 degrees makes 103 seem cool. We were happy to ride up the hill back to 103 degrees.
Mike made the first of many threats to jump into the river to cool off.





We shoot across Nipton Road (one of April's favorites) and enter California.











We get a glimpse of the super bright solar power facility in the Ivanpah Valley.





After a short jaunt on the Interstate we land in Baker, CA where a fuel, fluid and food stop was needed.






I was gonna ask Mike if he wanted to try the Mad Greek Restaurant, which is the only non-fast food joint seemingly around.
I had stopped for fuel at the station that also housed a Jack-in-the-Box. Mike was excited.
Apparently their tacos are a delicacy he rarely gets to indulge in. He orders SIX.





He indulged.





I pointed out we were headed to one of the lowest spots on Earth.
I wisely stated it would be dark, and therefore much cooler by time we reach it...

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Old 06-21-2014, 11:42 PM   #6
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Evening 1 - Long Day

After dinner we head north onto the lonely desert two-lanes.







The temp is still 103, but nightfall will surely bring relief.





Mike is a long ways from Kentucky.





The temps dip down to the low nineties near Shoshone. It felt like someone turned on the A/C.





This doesn't frequently happen in the desert, but I disturbed a cloud of bugs near the marshes around Shoshone.





Badwater Road










As night fell, the temps rose...





I think it was 105 degrees by time we stopped at Ashford Mills Ruins at 8:25 PM.





It was dark by time we reached Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level.
After 9 PM it was now 107 degrees! We had the place to ourselves.





We fueled up at Furnace Creek in the dark.





For that price, they could have left a light on for us. After using pay-at-the-pump I was informed my receipt was inside the closed and locked store.





We climbed to over 2000 feet before stopping at the Emigrant Campground, a free first-come place.
We were the only ones there when we first arrived, but later another camper showed up. I guess most sane
people don't go camping in Death Valley in June.

We are both exhausted, especially Mike as his day started much earlier than mine and included far more miles.
We were about to go to sleep when he says, "Uh oh, we have a problem. I locked my keys in the trunk". Apparently
he never uses the top box to store his pants, until tonight. The thing automatically locks when closed. At first, I
think he's gonna look funny riding around in his shorts, but then he says all of his keys are locked inside. He ain't
riding anywhere.

Mike gets busy with his Leatherman Wave tool and a large rock trying to destroy the lock to get inside. He destroys
the Leatherman tool first. Frustrated and exhausted, he declares he's gonna sleep on it. I wasn't worried, but I told
him he would likely not be able to sleep with that on his mind.






Mike says day 1 was 508 miles. That it more likely than my number as I forgot to record the starting odometer reading this day.

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Old 06-21-2014, 11:56 PM   #7
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The Ansel Adams of ADV , always love your pictures and reports. I'm in
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:43 AM   #8
KYMike
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As we leave Phoenix, the picture taking begins. Dave using one of his two tethered cameras…


…and me on my only camera.


I follow Dave (as I would most of the trip).


Eventually the sun begins to go down….


…and we stop to enjoy the sunset.


As we set up camp, I realize I left my “liquid“ toiletries in my suitcase. I wear contacts and would have to store them in water until I could buy some contact solution. Of course not any solution will do, I have sensitive eyes and need a unique brand.

I usually sleep in a tent, but it wasn’t needed that night. Normally my jacket and pants go in the tent with me. I threw my pants in the trunk and closed the lid. As soon as the lid clicked shut, it hit me. The keys to the bike, trunk, and panniers were in my pocket. I keep a spare set of keys in my jacket, but had bought a new mesh jacket just for this trip. My spares were in my old jacket in Dave’s garage. My contact solution didn’t seem much of a problem anymore. I really felt bad for Dave at that point. He normally rides alone, and was probably questioning having me along.

My bike’s speedometer reads about 5% high, so 488 miles for the day is much more accurate.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
dave6253 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Man View Post
Your photography is always amazing.
Thanks for following, Ol Man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Well said, this seems to be the beginning of a great ride report!

Cheers,

.
Thanks, poolman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PDX Alamo View Post
The Ansel Adams of ADV , always love your pictures and reports. I'm in
Wow. Thanks for the compliment. I think Ansel Adams just turned over in his grave though.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:50 AM   #10
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Day 2

We are up before sunrise. Within about 5 minutes the locksmith had finally defeated the latch on his top box. We can ride!
I slept well on top of my sleeping bag wearing only a t-shirt and shorts and no tent. It was windy so I awoke feeling a little chilly.
I knew if I crawled into the sleeping bag it would take longer to get up.
Mike was in his sleeping bag on top of the table, but I don't think he got much rest.
I forgot to mention, we finished riding at about 10:30 PM and went to bed at 11:30 PM. We were up by 5:30.






We enjoyed the lonely desert roads as we headed west through the park. We are racing the rising sun and the heat it will bring.





We stop at the dry lake bed in Panamint Valley...





for a few photos...










...and at the exit of the park so Mike could get his park sign photo we skipped last night.

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Old 06-22-2014, 08:54 AM   #11
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Day 2: Close





We are in the desert...





...but those mountains are so close.

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Old 06-22-2014, 09:00 AM   #12
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Day 2: Leaving the Desert

After fueling up in Pearsonville, we head up, up...





...and up Nine Mile Canyon Road.





Two turns from here...










...and BAM! We are in the forest...





...and are suddenly done with the desert for awhile.

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Old 06-22-2014, 09:03 AM   #13
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subscribed for the pics!

and to find out how things all work out...
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:30 AM   #14
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Day 2 Western Divide Highway

The Western Divide Highway is definitely one of the reasons I'm riding April on this trip and not her Austrian Stablemate.






The tight curves and grippy pavement are incessant.










Mike seems to be enjoying it.






After riding this section we had worked up an appetite.












We stop for lunch at the Pierpoint Pines Resort. Mike tries to keep track of where he's been.











Yummy!

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Old 06-22-2014, 10:33 AM   #15
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subscribed for the pics!

and to find out how things all work out...
Thanks for signing up, fastredbike. (April says Ash Grey bikes are faster.)
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